I read this book as soon as it came out. If you check out my original thoughts, you’ll notice that I hadn’t started doing structured reviews yet. So I’m going to do a structured review for the audio edition that I just finished. Spoiler alert: I loved it just as much the second time.
Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Narrated by Kate Rudd
Summary (from GoodReads): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Characters: I know a lot of the focus gets put on Hazel and Augustus, and they are awesome, as is their love, but this time around I paid more attention to the other characters. I had forgotten how much of the story actually involves characters other than Hazel and Augustus. Isaac has way more scenes than I remembered, which is good, because I love him. I also really enjoyed Hazel’s relationship with her mom. I’d like to think that even if things were different and Hazel were healthy, that she would still be best friends with her mom. (Also of note–Hazel has a good relationship, not just with her mom, but with her dad, too!) One of the characters I hated–not Peter Van Houten, surprisingly -is Kaitlyn. I must have blocked her out of my mind the first time I read it, but her pretentious annoying personality can not be ignored in the audiobook. I’m sorry, Hazel. You may think that your best friend is a British socialite trapped in the body of a 16 year old who lives in Indiana, but she is really 16 year old trying to find herself and will inevitably look back on these days in humiliated shame.
Plot/Pacing: Pretty much perfect. I cried a lot more this time. Mostly because I knew the ending, so all the parts that were funny and cute the first time broke my heart. This book makes me feel anything I could want to feel. It breaks my heart, but it leaves me with hope.
Moments I Loved: Too many. TOOOOO MANY. This time… I think the scene that made the biggest impact is the one where Hazel starts fighting with her parents because she is spending so much time with Gus. This is right before the Eulogy, which is SO QUOTABLE. The whole book is incredibly quotable.
WTF Moments: Any scene with Kaitlyn. Peter Van Houten, I can get. Kaitlyn just needs to be slapped. Hard.
Narrator: John Green is one of those rare authors who I hear speak a LOT (DFTBA!). He has such a distinct written and spoken voice that it is always disconcerting to hear his words read by someone else. I liked the narrator after my adjustment period.
Overall: Don’t listen to the audio version while you drive.